St. Winefride’s Well – the Lourdes of Wales
Winefride was a 7th century Welsh woman who rejected the advances of a suitor, who cut off her head. Legend has it that her head rolled down a hill, and, where it came to rest, a spring began to flow. Her uncle, St. Beuno miraculously restored her head to her body and Winefride went on to become an Abbess, eventually dying around 660AD.
The locals built a chapel above the shrine, and it has been a place of pilgrimage for the past 1300 years without interruption. Many miracles have been attributed to the healing powers of St. Winefride’s well, and for that reason it has gained the pseudonym of “the Lourdes of Wales”. It must be kept in mind that this shrine is known as the “Lourdes of Wales” because of the number of cures that have been obtained through the intercession of St. Winefride. It has never been the site of an apparition by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and must not be confused on that score with Lourdes.